Yes, Florida has been subject to terrible earthquakes and destruction recently.  But things are still moving forward with real estate.  Earlier this month the Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board held a discussion on affordable housing in connection with the next Florida Forward forum. Key participants included: Osceola County Commissioner Viviana Janer; Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine; Rudolph C. Cleare, Executive VP of The “Negro Spiritual” Scholarship Foundation and Ben Hoyer, founder/director of Downtown CREDO.

On 26th October, we get to take part in The Real Deal’s South Real Estate Showcase and Forum at Soho Studios just featuring an additional panel in response to Irma and the impacts of storm surge on real estate.  Featuring an entire day of programming, four panels will examine all parts of the real estate market.  Local merchants will be on hand offering food and drinks. Those taking part come from: EWM Realty International, KKAID, Cervera Real Estate, Miami Real Estate Group, among others.

Then there is the Minto Community vision which is seeking to bring an idyllic lifestyle at Westlake, right in the center of Palm Beach County.  According to Minto Communities president Mike Belmont: “Westlake offers families the chance to be part of something new and exciting, to experience the future of Florida living in a brand-new city. “We call it Life in Motion – the more active, more connected and more convenient lifestyle people are looking for today.” Grand opening of the community is set for later this month on October 28, where six new model homes will be unveiled, along with a new 9,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art sales center with interactive displays, a café, children’s playroom and an interior design center. With it being in Westlake, residents will be able to enjoy a vibrant town center featuring local and national retailers, restaurants and services nearby, as well as a very lively calendar of events.

Various industries in the state of Florida are currently thriving.  as a result of the addition of many jobs, the housing market is benefiting substantially as well.  In particular, in January 2017 the state added more private sector jobs than any other states in America.  In addition, this was the 21st consecutive month of Florida being ahead of Texas in job creation, with 50,700 new positions.

Vis-à-vis the impact on housing, statewide median sale prices for single homes in January increased by 10.1 percent to $220,000 from the year earlier of $199,000. This was facilitated by the fact that new building permits had been issued (12 percent of the entire country’s building permits).

Florida’s Governor Rick Scott pointed out:

 “As more and more companies choose to invest in our state, we also continue to see improvements in other parts of the economy, such as the housing market. We must keep fighting for Florida jobs and investing in proven tools that help our economy like Enterprise Florida and VISIT FLORIDA.”

What is the latest in the housing market in Florida?  This industry has long been essential to the Sunshine State.  In this video, Dr. Brad O’Connor, Chief Economist at Florida Realtors® presents statistics and insight into what the figures mean.  And for those entrepreneurs looking for advice in the region, LaunchPad Holdings LLC co-founder Glen R. Wakeman has been engaged in "hundreds of capital market transactions, raised hundreds of millions of dollars of new equity and lead large organizations in Fortune 10 companies."  Based in Florida, LaunchPad seeks to offer its clients "an energetic ecosystem of advisors, thought leaders, accelerators and capital providers."

homesWith all the less-than positive talk about Florida’s housing markets and how expensive real estate is there and the amount of foreclosures etc., hearing a positive spin on things recently from Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist was most welcome.

Kiefer said:
“Florida has some of the most improving housing markets in the country, largely a reflection of more borrowers becoming current on their mortgage payments as the local employment picture improves and house prices rebound. Nationally, all MiMi indicators are heading in the right direction for the second consecutive month and improving more than 6 percent from the same time last year.”

Indeed, so far in 2015 growth has been “steady” according to a recent article in The Miami Herald. However, “skyrocketing home prices have locked many buyers out of the housing market.” But even with that, according to Nicholas Nehamas “home prices in South Florida are still going up [and] the price jumps are slowing down [which translates into meaning that] the region’s middle and working class…may see more affordable homes in the market in the next few years.”

Although one never knows. If the latest article in The Inquisitr is correct and Tom Cruise sells his home in Hollywood and buys a different one in Florida, that could impact the housing market for the working and middle class in a different way altogether!

florida-homeFlorida’s largest residential real estate brokerage – Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate LLC – recently announced its latest acquisition.  The firm accrued the assets of Keldorff, Inc., and Pruitt Real Estate.   Thus Coldwell Banker today boasts over 80 offices and close to 4,800 sales associates in Florida.

On this acquisition, president of the company Clark Toole spoke about how pleased he was, adding that “their professionals bring an excellent reputation in the industry and local community, and we are especially excited that these acquisitions will expand our footprint into a new part of the state. This further strengthens our leadership throughout Florida and helps us better serve our relocation clients.”

It will also be beneficial to the companies that were accrued.  According to Michael Pruitt, joining Coldwell Banker is going to open up doors to a “global network with incredible brand strength, online reach and marketing resources, which will benefit both our clients and our sales associates.”  And, as Barb Keller of Keldorff Inc. noted, their company’s “philosophies and practices are a good match with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate and that our sales associates and customers will benefit from their global network, brand strength and online exposure.”

There has been some relatively good news for those concerned about the housing market in Southwest Florida.  In December of 2012, prices in the region were the same as those for the rest of the nation with increasing demand from purchasers.  However, according to CoreLogic Inc., on the bad side, there have been quite a number of both short sales at decreased prices and foreclosures which are bringing the market down.

Still, in comparison to the situation of a year ago, there is a bright side.  In the Sarasota-Bradenton-North Port metropolitan area, there was an increase of 13 percent in house prices.  Leaving distressed sales out of the equation, year-over-year prices in Sarasota jumped by 10 percent throughout the year.

The ideal is not for huge escalations in house prices; what field analysts really want to see is a "modest appreciation."  Huge increases are not good long-term, as has been seen in the past.  Ultimately though, across Florida, prices have overall increased 9 percent despite the fact that analysts feel the figures are misleading since most of the increase has come from lower-end properties which are now in greater demand by institutional investors purchasing them for rentals.  And the nice house worth approximately $350,000 is not really witnessing much of an appreciation.

Montana Mapping & GPS just released software providing detailed information of land; a display of property lines and public property for the state of Florida.  The company that released the software designed it with real estate agents in mind as it makes life much easier when you can see clearly which land is public and which is private through its color-coding.  According to the company’s CEO, Eric Siegfried, it provides a lot of other important data too like where various parks and preserves are located; different highways and roads; campgrounds, trails and more.

Benefits for Sporting Activists

The software is great for sporting activists too, since it provides information on the locations of all the public and private boundaries in the region are situated along with landowner names.  So while hiking in the field, they need not fret about trespassing or getting into unwanted zones.  The user can also plot his or her location on the map which saves the time and hassle of trying to work out exactly where you are.  It can be used with other regular maps too.